All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater- 5 Stars are not enough
I am delighted that I got to meet her for this book's signing, it makes it that much more special. I told her at the signing my favorite work by her was The Scorpio Races, well... not anymore! This was amazing. A perfect story, at a perfect pace, with amazingly well written characters.
Sooo many amazing quotes too! I will be quoting this book for weeks 😄
Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one.
Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.
At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.
They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.
This beautiful and intricate story was just what you would expect from Maggie Stiefvater. It was full of magic, full of complex and weird yet beautiful characters, it was warming, it was exciting!
It was also different than what I would expect from Maggie Stiefvater.
Doesn't matter how much I love her stories and the worlds she creates I have always struggled with the pace of her books, with the style of writing. All the Crooked Saints however was almost poetic. I wanted to stand in the middle of my leaving room and read the book allowed in a silly theatrical fashion (with my British accent in full force). In my humble opinion this was the most beautifully written of all her books. I finished it in two sittings and that is only because the first time around I started too late in the evening.
At the end of All the Crooked Saints I felt as one would while sitting on a porch on a winter day with the warm sun right on you warming you up and keeping you cozy. There was something magical and beautiful about the whole story that just made me fell better about the world.
The way she described the many facets of human emotions and how different people deal with it was fantastic. The idea that we all have some form of darkness inside of us that manifests itself differently was just genius. And more importantly, truthful. And I guess it is the fact that is was truthful that made it all that more touching. It was easy to relate to all the characters, it was easy to feel how they feel and follow their journey with them.
This book is about so many different things that it is hard to put in one paragraph (in true Stiefvater fashion I suppose)
It is about saints;
It is about miracles;
It is about owls;
It is about old cars;
It is about the inner darkness in all of us;
It is about love;
It is about growing and learning;
It is about getting lost;
It is also about finding oneself again;
It is about the Soria family. A family of saints who can perform the miracle of bringing out into shape the darkness inside another person so that the person can face it and hopefully get rid of it. But the saints cannot interfere with that second part of the miracle. So the book is also about self restraint. About following rules and about breaking rules. It is about family and it is about friends.
Every single one of the characters was a delight to read. From the Soria family, to the pilgrims, to the angry rooster! All of them. No exceptions. I don't even think I can pick a favorite, it just feels unfair on all the others.
All in all it is a rather whimsical story and for the most part I felt like I was reading a beautifully crafted old fairy tale! One of those you grow up listening too and never ever forget.
“The conception of perfection exists only so we have something to strive toward. Impossibility is built into it, which is why we call it perfect instead of extremely good.”
“Fear and rage are not very different when you think about it, two hungry animals that often hunt the same prey—emotion—and hide from the same predator—logic.”
“One can never tell what will make one person happy and leave another untouched. Often even the person involved will be surprised by what makes them happy.”